UK

Tommy Robinson faces new contempt hearing

Tommy Robinson outside 10 Downing Street Image copyright Reuters

Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson is to face a fresh hearing over an allegation that he committed contempt of court.

He was jailed in May last year for filming and broadcasting footage of people involved in a criminal trial.

But that finding was quashed by the Court of Appeal in August after he won an appeal.

Now, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has concluded there are "strong grounds" to bring new proceedings against him.

The first hearing in the case is due to take place at the High Court in London on 22 March.

Mr Robinson was given a 13-month jail sentence in May after filming and broadcasting footage taken during the trial of four men who were later convicted of gang-raping a teenage girl.

The footage lasted about an hour and was watched 250,000 times within hours of being posted on Facebook.

Mr Robinson was freed on bail in August, pending new proceedings at the Old Bailey.

Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard QC then referred the case to the Attorney General in October, after the judge received a statement from Mr Robinson.

The 35-year-old, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, could be sent back to jail if he is again found in contempt.

Crowds of supporters gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice and the Old Bailey for the previous hearings.

A statement from the attorney general's office said Mr Cox had reached his decision based on an assessment of the evidence and whether it was in the "wider public interest".

Mr Cox said: "After carefully considering the details of this case, I have concluded there are strong grounds to bring fresh contempt of court proceedings against Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson).

"As proceedings are now under way, it would not be appropriate to comment further and I remind everyone that it is an offence to comment on live court cases."

Robinson founded the English Defence League in 2009.

It became known for its street marches and demonstrations in towns and cities before he quit the group in 2013.

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